NOTE: All pictures are at the end of this post because the WordPress app is a ball-busting bitch. Carry on.
I wanted to write this on Christmas Day after I tasted these suckers but we had company and I was trying not to be rude and stay off the iPad except for the triumphant status update. Then I wanted to write yesterday but I was trying out smoothies in my new Ninja (that I asked for last year but I believe in better late than never) and the last smoothie of the afternoon contained Cabernet so…nap. I found the recipe on Christmas Eve and thought since I had all the ingredients I should try it out in the morning. The carb-wary migraine sufferer in me screamed not to do it, but I rarely listen to that killjoy. I’ve rewritten the recipe from what I found on Pinterest because it was kind of confusing and I like simplicity. At first glance you may not think this is simple but hang in there – if I had the patience and am willing to do it again, you can handle it.
Clark Griswold’s Christmas Vacation Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Icing (you’ll understand the name later) 2 1/2 hours from start to eat
Section 1: The Dough
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
3 1/4 cups flour
1 packet (.25 ounce) active yeast
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, remove from heat and add butter, stirring as it melts. Let cool to lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, salt, yeast, and sugar, mix well.
Add water, egg, and the milk mixture, mix well.
Add the remaining 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mix well.
When the dough has pulled together, turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth – about 5 minutes. To be honest with you, I don’t know what the hell “smooth” dough really looks like compared to what I started with, so go with the 5 minutes. Cover dough with a damp cloth and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile…
Section 2: The Filling
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Mix in a small bowl. On floured surface, roll out dough to @12×9 rectangle and spread the filling mixture until you cover the entire surface. This takes a few minutes because it doesn’t just slather on like jam, take a little at a time and trust me when I say you will have exactly the right amount. Roll dough on the longest side and sit it seam down so it stays together better when cutting. With a sharp knife, slice 12 rolls and place in buttered 12×9 casserole dish. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Section 3: The Icing
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup powdered sugar (optional, for a creamier color and more frosting-like appearance, but I always get little white lumps instead)
If you are anything like me you know that the biggest problem with cinnamon rolls is no one understands just how much icing you need. You need a LOT. This will do it. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in milk slowly, heat to boiling (the slower you dribble it, the smoother your icing will be as I think sudden cold makes the sugar crystallize). Remove from heat and let cool @15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add powdered sugar if you want and beat, then pour all over dish of warm rolls.
Enjoy and to quote Clark Griswold: hallelujah, holy shit, pass the Tylenol.